- The Washington Times - Monday, March 12, 2001

Sharon says Arafat guards behind terror

JERUSALEM Prime Minister Ariel Sharon accused Yasser Arafat's bodyguard unit yesterday of carrying out terrorist attacks against Israel and said he could not hold peace talks with the Palestinian leader in the current climate of violence.
Mr. Sharon has in recent weeks been restrained and diplomatic when speaking of his longtime rival, and had held out the possibility of an early meeting. But in an interview with Fox News Channel, Mr. Sharon criticized of Mr. Arafat and said no talks were planned.
"Most of the terrorist acts at the present time are carried out by Palestinian armed forces, security services and even the [forces] closest to Arafat, that is, what you call Force 17, the presidential guard," Mr. Sharon said.

Mori denies saying he plans to resign

TOKYO Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, pressed by the opposition to tell the public his true plans, denied today he had expressed his intention to resign in a meeting with ruling party elders at the weekend.
In a move to limit his lame-duck status, Mr. Mori on Saturday told five top power brokers from his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) that he would bring forward from September an election for the party presidency.
"Neither I nor the five LDP executives understood this as a statement of my intention to resign. I have absolutely no intention to state such plans," Mr. Mori told a budget panel in parliament's upper house.

Disease spreads in Britain

LONDON While British government officials insisted the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease was under control, 25 new cases were reported yesterday the highest daily total so far.
The Agriculture Ministry has confirmed 164 cases in the United Kingdom since the disease was first identified in Britain on Feb. 20.
More than 114,000 animals have been destroyed and another 30,000 are awaiting slaughter to keep the highly contagious disease from spreading further, the Agriculture Ministry said.

Museveni denies electoral intimidation

KAMPALA, Uganda President Yoweri Museveni yesterday denied his campaigners were intimidating voters and said he would easily win another five-year term as president.
The former guerrilla leader instead claimed that his challengers were threatening voters ahead of today's presidential election. He accused the main opposition candidate, Kizza Besigye, of trying to restore to power those responsible for the brutal dictatorships of Idi Amin and Milton Obote.
Mr. Museveni and his National Resistance Movement took power in 1986, ending 14 years of brutality, state-sponsored violence and economic ruin under Amin and Obote.

Lack of cash delays salvage operation

MOSCOW A lack of cash has forced Russia to delay an operation to raise the sunken nuclear-powered submarine Kursk from the Arctic seabed, Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov said yesterday.
Interfax quoted Mr. Klebanov as saying that the Kursk, which sank in the Barents Sea in August, killing all 118 men on board, would probably be raised in early autumn, rather than in July or August, as was initially planned.

Taleban tells Annan statues are smashed

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said yesterday that the foreign minister of Afghanistan's ruling Taleban movement confirmed to him that all movable statues in the country were destroyed.
He told a news conference that Taleban Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil also informed him in Islamabad yesterday that the destruction of two giant Buddhas in the central city of Bamiyan was continuing.
"I must say if they do carry through this lamentable decision, they will be doing themselves a great deal of disservice," Mr. Annan said.

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